In August of 2017, a horrific truck accident forever changed the lives of Tomasa Cuevas, her high-school-aged son Alex and 11-year-old daughter Maritza. A big rig driven by Amarjit Aulakh ran a red light and T-boned the family’s SUV, causing the mother of four to suffer a catastrophic brain injury and her children to suffer their own debilitating injuries. This week a lawsuit accusing the truck driver and the company for whom he worked of negligence was decided, by a California jury that awarded the family a total of $70.5 million.
According to the personal injury lawsuit filed against Aulakh and his employer, Rai Transport Inc., the truck accident was a result of negligence. The 12-day trial saw the driver accused of negligently running the red light where the accident occurred, and the trucking company of negligence in having allowed him to be behind the wheel. Aulakh had previously been involved in more than a dozen accidents and was driving with a suspended license.
Truck Accident Leaves Family Devastated
In addition to the traumatic injuries suffered by Tomasa Cuevas, the truck accident caused Alex Cuevas skull and facial fractures and a brain injury. Prior to the accident, he had been a star runner for his high school’s cross country team, but his physicians testified that the brain injury may prevent him from being able to run again in the future. His younger sister was riding in the back seat of the vehicle and suffered emotional injuries as a result of having witnessed the incident.
The jury’s award in the truck accident lawsuit represents a record for the Kern County court. They provided Tomasa Cuevas $32.5 million for past and future noneconomic damages and $6.5 million in future economic damages, provided Alex with $25.5 million in past and future noneconomic damages and $591,000 in future economic damages, and $5.5 million in noneconomic damages to Maritza.